Stakeholder Participation in Eco and Smart Cities Construction

Future Cities: Stakeholder Participation in Eco and Smart Cities Construction


Cities are built as a result of various interests and desires of stakeholders coming together. Some of the key stakeholders include planners, landowners, investors, the public, governments, transport engineers, and architects, amongst others (Arlati et al., 2021). There are a variety of stakeholders in each place, including government and industry, startups, people, and, of course, architects. Stakeholders are those who have an interest in something. They all have a role in the development of cities. Even while no one stakeholder is more vital than the others, success is impossible without all of them. Planned development in the cities and urban settings is in collaboration with all stakeholders (Wesley & Ainsworth, 2018). Stakeholder engagement is the most difficult aspect of enhancing urban planning while simultaneously incorporating individual interests. The development of a city involves a large number of individuals. So, in the development endeavors, it is important to remain open, transparent, and participative. Local working groups (comprised of all relevant stakeholders) are recommended as part of the urban design planning based on a method of finding ideas that benefit the community while also fitting with the city’s declared strategic aims (utilities, administrative departments, enterprises, civil society representatives, and scientific institutions) (Laspidou, 2014). The said development partnership in the running of cities not only promises to be inclusive but also to create a product (future city) that serves the interests of every stakeholder. The aim of this paper is to show that cities are built by an amalgamation of stakeholders including landowners, investors, government institutions, planners, architects, the public, and any other interest party. No one party has monopoly over the other in terms of what to create in city planning and design and each stakeholder has a role to play in the moderation of processes that include the physical, economic, ecological, and social city development.

Stakeholders in the Future of Cities

Cities are experiencing fast population growth, resulting in increased demands and financial obligations. In order to retain their competitiveness and achieve sustainable growth, cities must discover methods to increase their efficiency and save money while maintaining a high quality of living for their residents. By 2050, Bjørgen, Fossheim, and Macharis (2021) report that cities will be home to 70% of the world’s population, increasing the pressure on management to become more intelligent, while stakeholders acquire significance and interest as research topics, beginning to threaten the territories’ domination of the global economy. As a result, Martinez and Olander (2015) point to the need to include stakeholders who can provide valuable feedback (as well as an indication of how a subsequent planning application will be received). The term stakeholder refers to anyone who has a vested interest in the development or conclusion of the project (Guo & Kapucu, 2019). Persons participating in the design of a city in any capacity, including designers and investors, as well as subcontractors, as well as persons employed in any position by local governments and the legal system, are all considered possible stakeholders in a typical city design process. Nonetheless, their participation requires careful organization and a clearly defined mandate, as they may lack prior design experience and their actions may be beyond the control of internal and direct stakeholders including investors and land owners.

Government and the Public Sector

In response to the steps taken by the private sector toward sustainable businesses, cities are increasingly shifting their focus toward digital technology innovation. Curwell et al. (2005) mention that future cities will include a more interactive and responsive municipal government, safer public spaces, and addressing the needs of people of all ages. Cities are also becoming more environmentally friendly. In the field of city planning, the government and the public sector play an essential role. Thanks to new legislation and widespread popular backing, governments will be able to guide the development of futuristic city planning. Also included are initiatives to encourage positive stakeholder behavior and awareness, to encourage citizen-driven experimentation from the ground up, and to include an innovative lifestyle into all services provided to people.

Investors and Financial Partners

Investors include those who have financial investments and institutions that lend money to individuals in order to accomplish development projects in urban areas, among other things. They provide assistance to businesses and governments through the sponsorship and investment in initiatives. They safeguard the assets of both small and big depositors by investing in only the most profitable enterprises. The vast majority of investors feel that urban design has a key influence in increasing the value of real estate sales and rentals. In the decision-making process of city residents, environmental quality is regarded as a critical concern, among other criteria like as access, parking, security, service (particularly in the IT sector), and internal environmental management (Bridgman, 2004). When it comes to creating stronger returns and future growth possibilities from their investment, the investors understand that addressing the initial development’s lack of participation in urban planning is critical.

Research and Innovation sector

The research and innovation sector is a major stakeholder in city design and a notable contributor to future cities. University-based research is essential for the development of creative ideas that may result in a more sustainable and healthier urban environment in the long run. Due to the increasing urbanization, globalization, and climate change, scientists have been compelled to develop and test novel processes, as well as intelligent city solutions based on prototypes and models that bridge the technological as well as socioeconomic gap. Making city designers more aware and understanding of the future system, as well as the breadth of technology and solutions available, is crucial to ensuring the success of the transition (Anttiroiko, Valkama, & Bailey, 2014). In addition to assisting cities in their efforts to achieve overall sustainability, Laspidou (2014) notes that academic research and the knowledge it generates will help to increase the city systems’ short- and long-term flexibility. At present, Anthopoulos and Vakali (2012) point to the way consumer behavior is shifting in a positive direction as a result of the introduction of novel legal frameworks, business models, services, and technological solutions. Incorporating current research into real-world solutions allows for a greater grasp of the problem’s complexity while also proving practicability and economic feasibility for the solution. Demonstration projects carried out at clusters and research institutes produce useful knowledge on market applications and commercial arrangements that may be exploited in future city designs.

Constructors, Architects, Planners, and Designers

Regardless of their size, planning committees, real estate developers, competence centers, technology suppliers, and system integrators all play an important role in the transition process toward a future city. Smart meters, data displays, and energy management services for multi-fluid systems assist in disseminating future city projects in test users’ homes, new or existing residential dwellings, public buildings, and communal housing, among other places (Pereira et al., 2018). In order to continue progress and innovation in urban areas, a number of revolutions in design, engineering, and construction have taken place in the recent decade, bringing together different sector players with variant contributions matching up to a singular aim of having better city designs that are inclusive and sustainable. All of these developments may be ascribed to the present industrial and technological revolution, which is shifting the focus away from traditional construction systems and toward industrialized building systems that will eventually lead to future cities.

The Civil Society and Activists

While the involvement of the civil society and activists may not be on a technical capacity in city design, it must be provided careful consideration. Civil societies have the interests of the people and may shift narratives, bring a population for or against certain design projects. For example, civil societies have influenced the inclusion of transgender individuals in the design of urban toilets. Such subtle shows of power point to the importance of civil societies as stakeholders in dictating urban designs and the future of cities (Abusaada & Elshater, 2021). The needs and concerns of the community’s members serve as the starting point for its actions. The themes that are discussed and disputed are determined by the interests of the general population. Individuals are helped and mobilized throughout the process in order to bring their difficulties to the public’s attention and strive for a resolution.

Citizen participation is crucial to urban rejuvenation and should be completely integrated into smart government systems to achieve maximum results. A technique for reestablishing public trust in city design officials is to involve citizens in the decision-making process about the city’s future. Citizens are making the move from being end consumers to being prosumers, providing data and information, and taking on new duties in the smart and sustainable city of the future. Social innovators in future urban design attempt to inspire new modes of civic involvement (Lim, Kim, & Maglio, 2018), with an emphasis on inclusion and social protection (Abusaada & Elshater, 2021), that are capable of meeting social needs effectively and with up-to-date capabilities, and an emphasis on inclusion and social protection (Laspidou, 2014). All of these factors contribute to the development of emerging urban economies to include social entrepreneurs driven by certain community demands, community-based initiatives, and innovative corporate collaboration models.

Climate Change and Eco Cities: Copenhagen

A worldwide phenomenon, climate change has a profound impact on the way people live in urban areas, particularly in the developed nations such as Denmark. Because of this, sea levels are rising and more extreme weather events have been witnessed. Other effects include faster spread of tropical illnesses. All of these impacts have a substantial financial impact on cities, infrastructure, housing projects, jobs, and the general public. City dwellers are a substantial source of greenhouse gas emissions, and as a result, they make a considerable contribution to the global warming problem. The bulk of the CO2 emissions in the world today are attributed to cities, according to (Joss, 2011), with transportation and buildings accounting for the vast majority of these emissions.

Stakeholder involvement is very important in changing the way a city design regards the issues of climate change and the adoption of eco cities. In Copenhagen, the city’s climate plan has a path laid out for the city focusing on attaining carbon neutrality in the next 3 years (HagHigHatafSHar et al., 2014). The city focuses on every little sector that makes up the city’s overall carbon footprint. The City has a plan to attain significant reduction in emissions to have eco cities that are conscious of the climate change issue.

As Copenhagen has shown through its comprehensive city of the future plan, successful outcomes can only be achieved by a comprehensive global, regional, national, and local strategy and effort. The involvement of all stakeholders is very important in this process. There must be total cooperation from all direct and indirect stakeholders including planners, designers, land owners, governments, local authorities, legislation, investors, and any other interested group. City authorities must also play an important role in the fight against climate change by ensuring that all other players are involved. Copenhagen is already taking steps to minimize industrial emissions, including the use of renewable energy sources (Hallegatte et al., 2011), the improvement of production processes (Carter, Clegg, & Wåhlin, 2011), and the imposition of restrictions or the provision of financial incentives to reduce overall carbon footprints. In the next five decades, emissions reductions in Copenhagen will aid in the reduction of pollution from industry and transportation (Smiley, 2017), resulting in improved air quality and the health of city people as a result.

Smart Cities and Technology: Singapore

As the world’s population continues to grow, it becomes increasingly critical to have a framework in place for adopting and supporting sustainable development initiatives. The majority of it is made up of information and communication technology. The ICT design includes a digital city, which is a network of networked devices that connect via wireless technologies and the cloud (Yaqoob et al., 2017). Municipalities, organizations, and individuals may all benefit from analyzing real-time data and installing cloud-based IoT applications (Joo, 2021). Citizens can engage with smart city ecosystems through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, as well as through connected autos and homes. By integrating digital technology with a city’s physical infrastructure and services, it may be possible to save money while boosting its sustainability.

Historically, city management and authorities saw smart technology solely as a means of increasing operational efficiency. As seen in Singapore, technology is increasingly being integrated into daily life and influencing the design and management of entire cities. Millions of individuals may now use their cellphones to obtain real-time information about transportation, traffic, health services, safety alerts, and local news (Johnston, 2019). Cities are increasingly leveraging data and digital technology to deliver outcomes that are more relevant and meaningful to their residents, effectively advancing them past the experimental stage. Smart cities like Singapore are using data and digital technology to improve the lives of their citizens and the city as a whole (von Richthofen, Tomarchio, & Costa, 2019). More comprehensive, real-time data gives the capability to monitor events live, discover demand trends, and respond with faster, more cost-effective solutions.

By implementing smart city technologies, Singapore is able to enhance its infrastructure, public services, transportation, and other fundamentals. For example, connected traffic signals receive data from sensors and automobiles and adjust the cadence and timing of lights in real time to accommodate the current flow of traffic, hence reducing congestion (Woods, 2020). In the next 50 years, Singapore will have parking meters and electric vehicle charging stations that will enable communication with connected autos, guiding drivers to the next available space and other benefits. Rather than relying on a fixed collection schedule, smart trash cans communicate with waste management companies to arrange pick-ups as needed (Joo, 2021). A smartphone doubles as a mobile driver’s license and identification card, complete with digital credentials, providing an easy way for citizens to access city and local government services.


From the above analysis of the involvement of different players in Singapore and Copenhagen to create smart cities using technology and considering climate change needs through eco cities, the role of every stakeholder in influencing the design and construction of a city cannot be ignored. The discussion establishes that persons participating in the design of a city in any capacity, including designers and investors, as well as subcontractors, as well as persons employed in any position by local governments and the legal system, are all considered possible stakeholders in a typical city design process. Therefore, the report can confidently summarize that cities of the future will be built as a result of various interests and desires of stakeholders coming together. While some of the key stakeholders (including planners, landowners, investors, the public, governments, transport engineers, and architects) have more technical and physical involvement, this done not cancel out the crucial role of other stakeholders (such as civil societies, city legislation, activists, and other lesser involved parties) who also have a say in influencing how cities are built. The examples from Singapore and Copenhagen indicate that without the active and positive involvement of every stakeholder, city construction and design would be in chaos. Local working groups (comprised of all relevant stakeholders) are recommended as part of the urban design planning based on a method of finding ideas that benefit the community while also fitting with the city’s declared strategic aims (utilities, administrative departments, enterprises, civil society representatives, and scientific institutions). Overall, no stakeholder possesses monopoly over the other in terms of what to create in city design and each stakeholder has a role to play in the moderation of processes that include the physical, economic, ecological, and social city development.


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